Fintech ZestMoney appears to be falling apart after its founders announced they were departing the firm.
ZestMoney, is a digital EMI/ BNPL platform that has announced multiple partnerships with some pretty big firms during its brief existence.
A deal with PhoneRE was in the works at one time, but the two sides were unable to come to terms and reportedly, the founders Lizzie Chapman, Priya Sharma and Ashish Anantharaman, have decided to exit the firm.
The Economic Times reports that a company Town Hall took place today where the founders announced their exit. At the same time, the founders are said to continue as significant shareholders in the company as it transitions to new managemen.
A quote from Chapman adds:
“ Over the last few weeks, we have done a lot of thinking and whilst it has been very hard for us to arrive at this conclusion, we have decided that we will step away from our Operating roles as CEO (Lizzie), CFO & COO (Priya) and CTO (Ashish).”
Existing investors apparently are ready to provide fresh cash to extend the runway of the Fintech.
PhoneRE founder Sameer Nigam Tweeted a “fact check” of the dealings between the two firms.
Nigam said they were not taking over any of ZestMoney’s assets or IP and would not be hiring any more ZestMoney employees. PhoneRE DID purchase ZestMoney’s LSP tech IP and did hire 130 ZestMoney employees. At one time, PhoneRE considered an $18 million loan. Previousy, PhoneRE had offered $100 million plus shouldering existing debt and providing $10 million to the founders as a pay out.
ZestMoney has raised about $134 million from big name VCs but the current funding environment is dicey at best due to the economic uncertainty and rising interest rates. The company is said to be looking to pivot – perhaps to a Lending as a Service (LaaS) provider.